Lula government exonerates Bolsonaro appointees at Ibama and Environment manager who supported coup leaders


The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) promoted at once a major change in the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and in Organs environmental agencies, dismissing practically all superintendents in the states of Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable resources).

Several occupants of senior positions at the Ministry of the Environment and bodies linked to the portfolio were also replaced. The dismissals were published in an extra edition of the Federal Official Gazette, on Friday night (13), before Minister Marina Silva left for Davos (Switzerland) to participate in the World Economic Forum.

Currently, Ibama has 26 state superintendencies – only the Federal District is left out – and the positions were used in the government of former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) to equip the body with appointments in strategic posts.

Former minister Ricardo Salles and former president of Ibama, Ricardo Bim, for example, appointed a series of police officers to Ibama’s superintendencies.

On Friday, the Lula government changed, in a single opportunity, 20 Ibama superintendents in the states.

The São Paulo Military Police reserve colonel, Luiz Renato Fiori, is one of the exonerated. He leaves the position of superintendent in Espírito Santo, which he has held since June 2020, in the management of Salles and Bim.

In 2021, he was reported to the Ombudsman of the CGU (Controladoria-Geral da União) for not showing up at the workplace for two weeks.

Officials of the agency told the Sheet that the police officer practiced moral harassment and persecution, initiating administrative proceedings against subordinates or changing functions of those who disagreed with him.

When contacted, Fiori stated that the actions filed against him are unfounded or have already been archived. “Regarding the allegations [relatadas por servidores]I have no knowledge of the content”, he said.

Another exonerated was businessman Bruno Pinheiro Dias Semeghini, who was at the head of Ibama in Goiás. He was denounced to Ibama’s Corregedoria in 2022 and to the Labor Public Ministry for moral harassment and persecution.

Semeghini was appointed to the position in 2020, still under Salles’ management. The superintendent, according to the officials, would have been appointed to the position by PP politicians.

The complaint cites that employees were threatened by him and developed health and psychological problems.

“Due to the totally deteriorated work environment, several servers have presented health problems, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic syndrome, among others, affecting professional performance and compromising family life”, states the complaint, to which the Sheet had access.

THE Sheet was unable to contact Semeghini.

Another who left office last Friday was the regional head in Pará, Rafael Angelo Juliano, appointed in 2022. According to a report by Piauí magazine, he owns a consultancy that provides services to cattle ranchers and soy farmers in the state itself, which has already were fined by Ibama.

According to the magazine, he has already been indicted by the Federal Police and denounced by the Public Ministry for purchasing wood without a proven environmental license. THE Sheet could not locate it.

A collective action filed by Ascema (National Association of Environmental Servants) against Bolsonaro’s environmental management at Ibama and ICMBio accounted for 64 cases of moral harassment or persecution.

Wagner Fischer, who was a manager at the Biodiversity Secretariat of the Ministry of the Environment, was also exonerated on Friday. He encouraged, in posts on social networks, the coup acts of the last January 8th.

Ministry officials said, on condition of anonymity, that Fischer is known for being an open supporter of Bolsonaro and a critic of Lula.

According to reports and prints obtained by the report, he has already used the phrase “I know what everyone did in the past administration” in a WhatsApp message, in reference to environmentalists who defended previous governments.

Questioned, he did not respond to the report’s contacts.

Last Saturday (14), deputy Rodrigo Agostinho (PSB-SP) was announced by the Ministry of the Environment as the new president of Ibama.

The environment area is one in which the current government seeks to promote a complete change of course, after years of high deforestation rates and harsh criticism from the main nations of the world, during the government of Jair Bolsonaro.

Changes in the top line of ministries are considered routine with government changes. However, the announcements made last Friday draw attention for reaching superintendencies in the states.

Such as Sheet showed, the Bolsonaro government boosted the nominations in environmental protection bodies, for leadership positions, amid the general decline of civil servants responsible for inspection functions.

The Planeta em Transe project is supported by the Open Society Foundations.

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